I ran today.
If you’re a runner of any sort, your first thoughts when reading that might be:
- how far did you run?
- what was your time?
- did you improve on your last time?
I ran today. For the first time in months. You don’t understand how big this is for me. I freaking ran today!
I’ve been waging a battle with exercise, fighting on both sides for as long as I can remember.
On one hand, I love ball sports. So while I was at school and living in close proximity to sports facilities, exercise happened as a byproduct of sport. But since I discovered the joys of technology; since I started working long days and nights to make ends meet; since I forgot the joy of feeling fit, I haven’t exercised with any regularity. Because seriously, I hate running. It holds no pleasure for me. Let me chase a ball and I’m happy. But don’t tell me to “just run for pleasure.”
The thing is, I “know” how important exercise is. I “know” how good it feels to be fit and literally have more energy available to me — one of the marvellous byproducts of being fit. But I also know that I have deadlines to meet, goals to accomplish, and all the other seemingly reasonable excuses I hide behind.
So on one hand, I’m in exercise’s corner, pleading with myself to get away from my screen, into exercise clothes — hell, any clothes that permit movement — and get moving.
But on the other hand, I’m deeply entrenched in a “nope, gotta work” mindset. And after work comes the evening routine, and then it’s either more work or a little bit of quality time with my wife or my friends online.
And I’ve been fighting this battle for years.
So today, I’m not interested in how far I ran, or what my time was, or whether my running gear was ideal for the job.
Today I’m celebrating the small huge victory of getting out of my rut and running.
Every person is at a different stage in their journey, and we can never know what journey they are on or where they are in it until we make the effort to find out.
Maybe you’re trying to sober up and simply saying no to the drink you were offered is a monumental step for you.
Maybe you’re battling depression and the fact that you got out of bed and got dressed is the most you’ve accomplished this week.
Maybe you’re trying to launch a new career, and you just made the phone call you’ve been putting off forever.
First steps are often small, but they should be celebrated. Because they often lead to many more steps; to running; to sobriety; to health.
So celebrate the small victories and achievements of the journey you’re on.
Go take that next step.
And don’t judge the small victories others celebrate. Or — even worse — hold them up to your standards and encourage them to reach your next step.
If you want to encourage them, take the time to understand where they are in their journey, and encourage them there.